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Establishing Inkjet Printhead Jetting Performance and Tolerances with Overall Printing System Design

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Establishing the required specifications for a printhead is a balancing act between jetting performance, physical interfaces of the printhead and application requirements for building a quality printer. Selecting tolerances impacts printhead cost and system cost. This paper will review the tolerance and performance specification and metrics of the Dimatix Sapphire printhead, analyze drop placement errors as a function of these tolerances and examine how tolerances can be balanced to take advantage of the capability of some of the tolerances. Some tolerances can be balanced within the assembly; others can be used to improve overall performance of the printer itself, or to open tolerance requirements on the printer.

An example of this is the straightness capability in the cross process direction. The maximum standard deviation of straightness for the Sapphire is 3.5 milliradians. This is the highest value allowed for any given printhead. Overall, however, the distribution of this parameter is very tight for the measured population. Using a Weibull distribution to describe the population, the majority of printheads have a standard deviation better the 2.0. Very good straightness can be balanced with the tolerances on the registration features of the printhead to the frame, which potentially reduces the cost of these features. Other options can be to increase the standoff of the head over the substrate to open up the possibilities for substrates, or to reduce the tolerances for the media handling.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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